12.11.14

Damage Control: Keeping Your Cool When Low

Keep Your Cool When Low

Picture this. You walk into a party, feeling like you own the place. You’re witty. You’re striking up conversations like Jimmy Fallon. Then, paranoia hits you. Thoughts like these flood your mind — “Why did I wear this? This looks ridiculous. Why am I even here? Should I just go home?” Before this runaway train fueled by low blood sugar sends you off into self-loathing, let’s get you back on track. Follow these tips to salvage evenings, meetings, and conversations while in the hypoglycemic zone.

Don’t be afraid to let people know that you’re low.

This seems relatively straight-forward but then again, is anything straight-forward when low? Even if you just met this person or group, say something like this, “Excuse me, but I have diabetes and could use some sugar. Would you mind if I stepped away for a moment to find some?” This is fairly formal. For the more informal scenario, go with this, “I can barely understand what I’m saying, nevertheless what you’re saying. I’m going to find something to eat or drink.” Ignore the paleo guy in the background telling you that carbs are bad for you.

If number 1 is not an option, and you have no choice but to stick it out, take a deep breath.

Remember, talking is a choice. You do not have to talk. If you find yourself getting lost in your own sentences while speaking, this is probably a good time to do the listening. Sit back, focus on your breathing, and sense a clearer perspective appear. If it doesn’t reappear, well, then speak when spoken to until you find a snack.

Later on, when you regret something that you said or couldn’t say, give yourself a break.

Beating myself up over what I chalk up as “Low blood sugar missed opportunities” has haunted me in the past. Let’s face it, we are not the same person when low. Insecurities occupy thoughts. Self-confidence fades like ?. We overreact. 99.99999% of time, no one can tell the difference in low-you and the real you. Remind yourself of this until your blood sugar comes up, allowing for rational thought.

Be prepared.

This isn’t always possible but life is about spontaneity. My hope is that I can jump into anything at anytime. It’s hard to do this if I don’t have food around. Pack a Clif bar.

==BOOK OF THE WEEK==

Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

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